"Mammography is being performed with increasing frequency in men with breast symptoms, but we found that breast cancer in men can be felt as a firm, discrete mass on a physical exam, or seen as changes in the skin or nipple," says the study's lead author, Stephanie Hines, M.D., of Mayo's Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic. Male breast cancer is exceedingly rare - fewer than 2,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with the condition annually, she says.
Gynecomastia is found in 60 to 90 percent of male infants, in 30 to 60 percent of boys going through puberty, and in 24 to 65 percent of adult men, according to Dr. Hines. The condition has a number of causes, including hormonal imbalance, use of certain medications, organ failure, and alcohol use. Gynecomastia can be detected in a physical exam and can often be diagnosed solely based on the clinical evaluation.
"So, in the vast majority of cases, a mammogram is not necessary for confirming a diagnosis of gynecomastia. Breast cancer is rare and most often easily detected on physical examination," says Dr. Hines. "The bottom line is that most men don't need a mammogram, and that is good news for them."
In this study, researchers retrospectively reviewed the records of all men who had a mammogram at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville from 2001 to 2004. A total of 212 mammograms were performed on 198 patients. The researchers said only three men were diagnosed with breast cancer, and of these, all three men had an obvious mass in the breast that could be felt on physical exam, or had changes, such as retracted skin or nipple, that are associated with tumour development. In one of the three men, the mammogram showed a mass initially diagnosed as benign that was later discovered to be cancerous.
MEDICA.de; Source: Mayo Clinic